SAFV: Series Kyalami race report

High Drama at Kyalami The seventh round, of the 2008 South African National Formula Vee Championship, produced a number of dramatic twists of fortune. The drama began to unfold, on Friday and for some, continued through to the ...

High Drama at Kyalami

The seventh round, of the 2008 South African National Formula Vee Championship, produced a number of dramatic twists of fortune. The drama began to unfold, on Friday and for some, continued through to the race day as well. On Friday, log leader Alan Holm (Lasersprint Rema 2) blew another motor and could only manage eighth on the grid, in qualifying. Peter Hills (Prolantic, MLS Brokers Rhema 2), secured pole position but then spun, avoiding an incident and while he was waiting to rejoin, Courtney Steenveld (Indy Oil NLDTF Rhema 2), slammed into him, badly damaging both cars. Much midnight oil was spent, repairing the cars overnight but on race day, Hills could not get back to the pace he had shown, on Friday.

Starting from second place on the grid, it was Dennis Johns (Geyser Attorneys Rhema 2) who took the lead, as the rest of the pack fought it out behind him, with Hills, Trevor Bland (Office Direct Rhema 2), Jaco Schriks (Lasersprint Rhema 2) and Steenveld, locked in battle, as Holm fought his way through the bunch. A little further back, Zaahir Essa (NLDTF Rhema 1) and Johan Gouws (Computer Assembly Mantis) where engaged in a torrid battle, until Essa gained a small advantage in the closing stages of the race, almost catching Symm Grobler (Auto Mecca Rhema 2), in the process.

Once Holm was out of the bunch, he tried to reel Johns in but there was no way that he was going to catch him and Johns took the victory, over three seconds ahead of Holm. Bland pulled a do of die move, on Steenveld, at the last corner and beat him to the line by 0.143 of a second, for his first third place finish and they where followed across the line by, Hills, Schriks, Grobler, Essa, Gouws Andre Van Der Merwe (Atlas Dry Cleaning Lantis), Alan Eustice (Execuline Rhema 2) and Stan Alford (Castle Graphics Rhema 1). Jannie Geyser Jnr (Geyser Attorneys Rhema 2) and Gareth Jackson (Lastersprint Rhema 2) had both retired, early in the race, with gear selection problems, while Nico Blignaut (Gilus IT SAP Rhema 2) had pushed too hard, run off the road and got himself stuck in a gravel trap.

In the second heat, Johns did not have things all his own way. Initially he was chased by Bland, then Holm took up the challenge and actually led for a while, as Bland slipped into the clutches of the pursuing pack, initially made up of Schriks, Steenveld, Hills, Grobler, Essa and Gouws but as the race progressed, first Gouws and then Grobler and Essa, lost touch with the rest and slipped off the back of the bunch. There where other battles further down the field as well, one of which would end abruptly, when Alford and Van der Merwe collided. Alford was launched into the air and both cars where too badly damaged, to go any further.

In the end, it was however Johns who took his second victory of the day, by just over a second, from Holm. Steenveld came out on top, in the multi car battle for third place and crossed the line ahead of, Bland, Schriks, Hills Essa, Grobler, Gouws, Ben Pienaar (BJ Pro Welding, Silverton Platers Rhema 2), Blignaut and Jackson, after Eustice had lost a sure points scoring finish, with a spin in the closing stages of the race. Geyser Jnr was off the pace but battled on to the finish, while Andrei Overbeek (Omega) finished unlapped, for the first time, in his short Formula Vee career and the James Evans (Gilus IT SAP Tasman), continues to gain pace and reliability. .

The drama was however, not yet over and during the post race technical inspection, a problem was found, which could eliminate a couple of cars from the results. Other components, removed from the cars, still need to be measured and no ruling has been made, at this stage. The results therefore, remain provisional, until the technical inspection has been completed and a ruling has been made.

-credit: safv

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Series Other open wheel